On the other hand, since the intent was to create a pursuit and/or a 'chasseur reconnaissense' fighter, the design team might have ended up going with an approach similar to the Japanese Zero, i.e. sacrificing armor and firepower in return for speed, maneuverability and range/endurance. Although they probably would have given the 110P self-sealing tanks as long as the weight penalty wasn't too severe.Kim Margosein said:With all the modification to make the Bugatti fit for military use, I am reminded of the Bf-209 (the speed record aircraft) that went down the same road. By the time you make the aircraft and engine robust enough to be useful, you're left with an aircraft with little or no advantage over off the shelf contemporary fighters.
In keeping with our Full-Disclosure policy, here is my summation of our first flight experience:
We intended this flight to be limited to a short hop down the runway to check power required/power available and to check control responsiveness in all three axes. Preflight preparation and before-takeoff checks were normal. Takeoff was normal and at a predetermined reduced power (80%) setting; takeoff roll was 3000 feet and I became airborne at 90 knots. I climbed to 100 AGL to check power and control responsiveness. The plane responded as expected to all power changes and control inputs. Maximum airspeed was 110 knots.
I reduced power for landing but the airplane floated much more than we anticipated. I landed further down the runway than planned but with sufficient distance to stop the plane. Unfortunately, I lost the right brake and the airplane departed the left side of the runway at slow speed. Due to heavy rains the night before, the ground was soft and the airplane tipped upward on its nose, damaging the spinner and both props.
Such is the nature of flight testing a new design. The relevant news is we successfully flew the Bugatti 100P for the first time. The plane flew beautifully.
We’ll share more photos, video, and data with you in the coming days.